The first meeting of Parliament fo Federation of Malaya on 11 September 1959 at Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall was an important event for the country as it was the first time Parliament of Federation of Malaya met with all its members. It was officiated by His Majesty The King, Tuanku Abdul Rahman Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad.
Parliamentary Session, 11 September 1959
Today, the meeting hall is known as Malaysian Tourism and Information Centre (MATIC). It was situated at Jalan Ampang and was built in 1935. It was originally the residence of Mr. Eu Tong Sen, a wealthy and famous miner and estate owner in Kuala Lumpur. It was renovated by master builders who were specially hired to convert the building into the meeting hall for the Senate and House of Representatives. THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING
On 16 September 1963, the first meeting of Parliament of Malaysia was held in the Parliament Building which is located near to Perdana Lake, Kuala Lumpur.
A hill with a size of 16.2 hectares which was known as 'West Folly Hill' was being levelled during the early stage of construction of Parliament Complex in 1961.
The construction of the building was the brainchild of the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj who wanted to build a building spefically for Parliament.
As a result, in 1959, a site about 16.2 hectares in size near to Lake Perdana, Kuala Lumpur was selected for the construction of the building. It was selected due to its strategic location that is located on a hill and near to Kuala Lumpur city centre.
Parliament Building in construction
On 31 August 1962, His Majesty The 3rd King, Tuanku Syed Putra Al-Haj Ibni Al-Marhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail laid the foundation stone for the building, then the construction work started. The hilltop was levelled about 61 meter from above sea level in September 1962. The construction project which consisted of 3-storey block and 17-storey tower block had taken almost a year to be completed. In order to complete the infra system, a bridge was built to connect Parliament complex to Kuala Lumpur city centre.
The foundation stone of Parliament Complex was laid. A time capsule which was specially designed with the surface made of marble weighing 385kg (850lb), of 2 feet width and 5 feet height, contained a Hansard copy of the first meeting of the House of Representatives 1958, newspaper, some Malaysian currency, tin ore, rubber and paddy as symbol.
At that time, the overall cost of the construction was RM18 million. The Parliament Building was officiated by His Majesty the 3rd King, Tuanku Syed Putra Al-Haj Ibni Al-Marhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail on 2 November 1963.
The Parliament Building consists of three blocks which are Main Block, Tower Block and Multipurpose Hall. Below is the brief explanation about the blocks:
1. Main Block
The Main Block has three storeys with the size of 380 X 290 feet. The roof-top has a unique design of 11 triangle shaped structure called pinnacle and beneath the roof lies the House of Representatives. The whole block is covered with pineapple-skin like facade, which is made of terrazo with 11 feet in height and 40 inches in width. The facade functions to control the amount of sunlight into the building while the wall of the Main Block is made of glass panel.
Present Day Main Block
2. Tower Block
The Tower Block consists of 17 storeys, with the height of 76.2 metres and 450 metres square feet in size for each storey. The Main Block and Tower Block are connected by two 50-metre bridges. Originally, the Tower Block housed the offices for the ministers and Members of Parliament. However, with the increasing number of staff, the Tower Block has been converted into administrative offices. Nevertheless, some offices remain such as the Prime Minister's Office at level 2, Deputy Prime Minister's Office at level 3, Minister at the Prime Minister's Department (Parliamentary Affairs) at level 15, and Opposition Leader's Office at level 14.
Level 17, which is the highest level, has an open space that is frequently used for functions. It is known as Anjung Parlimen. The scenery from level 17 is breathtaking with the panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur skyline.
Present Day Tower Block
3. Multipurpose Hall
The Parliament's Multipurpose Hall was equipped with recreational facilities such as courts (tennis, badminton, futsal and volley ball), gymnasium, sauna room to be used by the Members of Parliament and staff.
Multipurpose Hall (Before Renovation)
Uniqueness of Parliament Building
The building was built using more than a million bricks, 2,200 tonnes of steel, 54,000 tonnes of concrete, 200,000 bags of cement and 300 tonnes of glass. The building was further enhanced by the beautiful landscape of pool and fountain system situated between the Main Block and Tower Block.
Besides this, the Parliament Building also houses a banquet hall that can accommodate 500 guests at any one time. It was also used for the first time for National Function on 18 September 1963. It was also used as the venue to pay final tribute to the 2nd Prime Minister, Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak before his burial.
The compound of Parliament is planted with various types of plants including the rare Banyan Tree (Ficus Benjamina) and Rain Tree (Samanea Saman). Next to the area of the Parliament complex is an open area in which lies the Deer Park that houses dozens of Axis-axis deers originated from the first pair given by President Suharto to Parliament of Malaysia. In 2007, the Parliament Building was gazetted as National Heritage Building under the National Heritage Act 2005.